So my pre-race prediction for Way to Cool was 4:30 or faster. I thought 4:40 was a lock. Even though I just started to add quality/tempo workouts into my running I felt it was possible. My finish time was 4:52, here‘s how it went down.
The start was its typical this is a 10K not a 50K race start, I went a little fast (7:00 opening mile) but it could have been worse. I clocked a 54:30 at Hwy 49 feeling great. At this time I was in the company of Tim Twietmyer and Prudence L'Heureux. Knowing both are very capable trail racers I figured the smart play would be to hang of them if the body continued to hold up. I know the smart play with Cool is to hold something in reserve for the return trip. Lots of time can be made up between ALT2 and the start of Goat Hill if you can run it well.
Browns Bar to ALT1 I felt good and just stayed relaxed and didn’t look at the watch. I inched a few minutes ahead of Twietmyer and Prudence, but not by trying. At ALT1 I fueled up and started to walk up the climb eating and drinking. It was here I had a twitch in my quads that didn’t feel like a salt or water issue I was slamming both also. It was more like” you don’t have the training to bomb the trails like you are regardless of how you feel jack hole; your muscles aren’t trained for it”. (Really that what I heard in my head.)
So I relaxed and tried to chill somewhat. At the base of Ball Bearing I felt tight and soon after I got an inside quad cramp. Tweitmyer and Prudence came by soon after as we climbed Ball Bearing as did a few others. I stopped once to shake it out and stretch, which helped.
Undaunted I keep going, I kept reminding myself I was running this race better than ever before and besides a cramp I was feeling as if I was out on a hilly long run.
ALT2 to the base of Goat Hill I had on and off twitches. I stopped a few times to stop a lock-up, but otherwise I was running, my energy level was good. Stopping sucked but it stopped me from ever locking up.
The climb to Goat Hill aid station actually let my legs chill out. I ran the rest of the way from the Goat Hill aid station to the finish. It was weird, I knew before Goat Hill I was off pace for a 4:30-4:40 but I was ok with it. I was having a great run that would greatly help my training and teach me a few things, I was happy at that. So I just kept the pace even and ran it in.
Now the details:
Shoes: My Air Max Moto’s were great. They continue to be a great shoe for me, no issues at all.
Vespa: Yes I’ve been trying the wasp snot. I’ve always had issues with eating enough in races. I have tested it in training on one run it seemed to work well, I didn’t have to eat that much. On another it was crap, I had this horrible empty stomach feeling that wouldn‘t go away. I learned I still need a gel an hour to keep stomach issue away. It also seems like I go an hour or so before I need to start fueling. Otherwise I ran and finished Cool with the best energy I’ve had in a race since WS100.
I used 2 gels 10mins before the start (I always do that). During the race I used 5 gels, 2 20oz of Cytomax, and water. I would usually bonk with only this much food.
Review: So what did I learn from Way to Cool? The base has paid off, now it’s time for the fun stuff, hill repeats, canyons, tempo, etc. I also think I will be able (and need to) to continue to increase my weekly mileage. This week with Cool was 65 miles. I did five miles today without much discomfort after an hour bike ride with my daughter.
I might be one of those guys that needs a lot more salt than others. I took only four salt tabs in the race. If the cramps were a salt issue I need to take more even when it’s not that hot. I’m going to ask around and read more on this.
My recovery routine seems to be working still, it goes like this: Within the first 30mins, Cytosport recovery drink. Once home, ice bath and put on the compression socks. Water and sport drink as needed. Later or on the way home a Carl’s Jr Western Bacon Cheeseburger, with fries of course. Massage by the wife the next day, (she was the therapist working at the race).
Now I do all of the above after all my long runs, except the burger, that is only after races.
It felt great to race, I'm ready for more, next up AR50, prediction coming soon.